October 29, 2013
Jason M. Koch
Mark S. Sanders as Allen Dean
Chaka Balamani as Detective
Helenmary Ball as Mother
Alex Barone as Busboy
Christie Beran as Jogger
Michael Brecher as Bill
Richard Cutting as Detective
Jessy Danner as Basement Girl
All moviegoers have come across a few “coming of age” type of films; those where the lead character reaches a crossroads of adversity in their lives and is faced by a series of decisions and stands to make, and the question of who they really are comes to light. In the most typical of these films that end result is a principled strong and determined person, or perhaps a heroic figure who will ultimately fight crime, win the boxing match, or save the world. Allen Dean (Mark S. Sanders) is at a crossroads as well, and the film 7th Day chronicles his thoughts, feelings and actions as that ultimate determination of his destiny is sought out and ultimately revealed.
The conundrum faced by Allen Dean is a bit different than the norm though; as ever since he killed a man married to an unrequited love of his and got away with it, he suspected that his true calling may be that of a hunter of humans. The battle then, is between Allen the killer, and Allen the lover of the woman of his dreams, settled down and raising children in a house with a white picket fence. The trouble is, the woman who’s drawn Allen’s affections hates him, and he continuously kills people, male and female, that strike him as deserving to be hunted.
7th Day is an interesting and violent film that is pure micro-budget Indie in its production quality. The subject matter works well with the grit though, so the whole package is consistent and appropriate. The acting performances are all pretty good; the supporting characters Dave (Josh Davidson) and love interest Mandy (Jennifer Juniper) are pretty rough around the edges but that adds to the vision of the world held by Allen that people are disgusting and ugly. Lead psycho-killer Mark S. Sanders is pretty rough too, but considering the depraved character he’s portraying his performance borders on brilliance. The real test with this guy is to see some of the other films he’s done to determine whether he’s just a skeezy kind of guy generally or if it was simply for the benefit of 7th Day that he is so gross. Sanders has got a short resume, showing his first film credit in 2011 with Witches Brew (2011) and a part as “Shotgun Dude” in the recent V/H/S/2 (2013) segment “A Ride in the Park”. Add the part of Dean Roger Walker in Ghoul Society (filming) and that completes Sanders’ acting resume. Looking forward to checking this guy out.
The budget that was spent on 7th Day seems to have gone almost exclusively to gore, and it is extreme. Allen doesn’t just kill his victims, but pulls organs out while they are still alive, butchers the bodies leaving carcasses and parts around his house, and collects the fingers so he can snack on them while he’s doing drugs. Very gory and torturous throughout, 7th Day has one scene after another of over the top death and mayhem that is among the most realistic and plentiful as any ever put to film. 7th Day is almost not even a horror film, but rather a murder film with so much realistic death and dismemberment that it might just be geared toward a macabre murder fetishist rather than a horror fan.
We live in a world where horror gets more and more extreme to satisfy an audience that has become largely desensitized to on-screen violence. 7th Day is an example of how far that can go. However, aside with the big problem of an anti-climactic ending (one of those “that’s it???” endings), 7th Day does compensate a bit for the fact that one viable method for it’s distribution is in a plain brown bag in a dark alley, with a very compelling performance by the lead character and an overall story that does seem to glimpse into the mind of a psychotic killer thinking his actions somehow make sense. Those looking for excitement or scares won’t find them here, but there is a strange fascination with the crazy extremes of human anatomy and filth that will certainly find satisfaction in 7th Day… if you have that strange fascination.